Wednesday, October 17, 2007

makes me rather tired

Ma is famous for gifts of random miscellany. On a recent visit she left me this garage sale find:

A New Self-Teaching Course in
and Effective Speech

vocabulary development, grammar,
pronunciation, enunciation,
and the fundamental principles
of effective oral

Estelle B. Hunter, Ph.B.

It's a box of 15 lesson booklets published in 1938 by the Better-Speech Institute of America. Apparently, they made quite a killing with these courses. In the "personal message to you from the author," Estelle states that while "[a]t first your efforts to avoid mistakes and slovenly speaking may cause you to speak with a somewhat studied expression," one should not be discouraged because "in due time your speech will be both fluent and correct."

Each booklet ends with exercises. Here's Exercise 9 from Lesson 2:
Correct all the mistakes in the following paragraph:
What kind of a time did you have at the club last night, or wasn't you there? I saw Jones, and he sez, "The new club don't seem homelike, but you can't blame it on me--I'm not the House Chairman." Those sort of remarks make me kind of tired. He most always complains, but he don't take a hold and help. He's dark-complected enough to be a Russian or Italian, but he sez he ain't.
What kind of time did you have at the club last night, or weren't you there? I saw Jones, who said, "The new club doesn't seem homelike, but you can't blame me--I'm not the House Chairman." That sort of remark makes me rather tired. He almost always complains, but he doesn't take hold and help. He is dark-complected enough to be Russian or Italian, but he says he isn't.
What the...?!?
Never mind fluent and correct if your speech is daft and dull to begin with. What kind of non sequitur is that last statement?

I think I'd rather hang with Jonesy. But don't mind what I sez, I ain't the House Chairman.


Leila said...

wow, that's a brilliant find - hilarious! good to know you shouldn't be talking to darkly complected persons... jeez

erin said...

Yes. I shudder to think that I may have been living a life of danger all this time...